Site Pratt City Hall
Site Number 46 KA 31
Culture: Fort Ancient
References:
Site Pictures: Richard G. Morgan letter
Map
History & Reports: Pratt (incorporated and renamed in 1905) - originally called Clifton (1851- 1872), then Dego (1873-1899).

History of Kanawha by Geo W. Atkinson (1876)

Out of the 3 settlers that dug cellars for their homes, all 3 found human skeletons. It appears from the quantity of remains found that a square of ground about 10 acres of the town facing the river was a cemetary for the community. Remains were found when digging every cellar, well, and posthole. Also uncovered were earthenware pottery, bone necklaces, carved shells, bone fishhooks, and an image carved into stone.

One of the more prominent settlers, Mr. Marshall Hansford, found in a posthole sheets of rolled copper, and while digging his cellar, found the skeleton of a large-sized man, and a great variety of bones of birds, bears, and other wild animals. To determine the age of the remains, Mr. Hanford offered that just before the remains were discovered, they were covered with sycamores that were fully five hundred years old.

Paint Creek, near Clifton was the site of a stone with a carved fish. Someone tried to carry off the stone to use in the construction of a hearth, and broke it, though part of the fish was still visible in 1876.

In 1776 or 1777, a man named Robert Hughes was captured by Native Americans, presumably the Shawnee, in the Clifton area. At the time, only two families were settled in Clifton, and it was considered unsafe to venture too far from the town, as Native American were often seen in the surrounding areas. Apparently, Hughes did not heed these warnings, as he maintained a fish trap at the mouth of Paint Creek, near Clifton, that he checked every morning. He was captured by 5 Native Americans one morning as he went to check the trap. The Native Americans took him about 30 miles up the creek, to their settlement. They stayed within the creek bed, as to avoid leaving any signs or clues for others to follow. Villagers looked for Hughes, but had to abandon the search because of the lack of a trail. Interestingly enough, Hughes returned about two years later. He reported that he had went to the head of Paint Creek, and eventually ended up on the Little Miami river. During his time with the Native Americans, he had learned to speak Shawnee fluently and became familiar with most of their customs. He enjoyed telling the story of his capture to anyone that would listen, and was said to be quite entertaining. He claimed that he was forced to run the gauntlet on two occasions, and that her was saved from being burnt at the stake by the daughter of a chief. He was reportedly a good hunter, and after living with the Native Americans for a year, was frequently sent off alone to hunt. It was on one of these trips that he escaped to Point Pleasant, and eventually back to his home. Another man was taken along with Hughes, but there is no record of what happened to him.

Artifacts from Martin Collection:

0630

Rattle snake design shell gorgets 5.5" x 4.5" and 5" x 4.5" Copper stains are visible on the design side of the gorget "These two shell gorgets were found in a grave opened up while digging the foundation for the city hall in Pratt W. Va. A WPA gang found them and the time keeper Mr. Howell(?) P. Johnson (now an engineer for the C&O) got them. This was in 1936. He gave them to me in 1941. The bone object (catalog No. 6320 was also found with these objects. .....Two holes are drilled near the top in each... For a similar shell gorget see page 338 of the 12th Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology. The designs are identical. Richard G. Morgan, Curator Ohio State Museum say they belong to the Middle Mississippi Culture and are found most frequently in Tennessee. Thurston & Webb call the designs rattlesnake designs. Plate 121. Buie 1)8. Bureau of Am. Ethnology. (Webb)

The (Southern Cult) rattlesnake design is associated with females (Bob Maslowski).

Reference:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southeastern_Ceremonial_Complex

http://www.pointpleasantwv.org/MasonCoHistory/ARCH/Arch_7.htm

0631

Rattle snake design shell gorgets 5.5" x 4.5" and 5" x 4.5" Copper stains are visible on the plain side of the gorget. "These two shell gorgets were found in a grave opened up while digging the foundation for the city hall in Pratt W. Va. A WPA gang found them and the time keeper Mr. Howell(?) P. Johnson (now an engineer for the C&O) got them. This was in 1936. He gave them to me in 1941. The bone object (catalog No. 6320 was also found with these objects. .....Two holes are drilled near the top in each... For a similar shell gorget see page 338 of the 12th Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology. The designs are identical. Richard G. Morgan, Curator Ohio State Museum say they belong to the Middle Mississippi Culture and are found most frequently in Tennessee. Thurston & Webb call the designs rattlesnake designs. Plate 121. Buie 1)8. Bureau of Am. Ethnology. (Webb)

The (Southern Cult) rattlesnake design is associated with females (Bob Maslowski).

Reference:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southeastern_Ceremonial_Complex

http://www.pointpleasantwv.org/MasonCoHistory/ARCH/Arch_7.htm">

0632

Bone hair pin (?) 5.5" broken at butt end see items 0630 or 0631 "Shetrone says this is made from the splaniknie(?) bone of the bear."